Shaellen L. Thompson
University of Mount Olive
One of the Human Resource (HR) Departments jobs is to handle company discrimination claims and develops a plan to deal with this issue. Employees have the right under the law to report discrimination to an employer. An employer should deal with harassment or discrimination complaints immediately. The failure of an employer to conduct an investigation can lead to much bigger problems, such as a lawsuit. This paper will discuss the laws governing Human Resources in dealing with discrimination and the how to develop an effective plan to handle discrimination claims in the workforce.
When dealing with discrimination in the workplace organizations have to know the laws. These are the laws that govern organizations in prohibiting discrimination in the workplace (Federal Laws Prohibiting Job Discrimination Questions and Answers, 2015):
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, and national original (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, and Wright, 2015). Title VII applies to all private employers, state and local governments, and education institutions that employ 15 or more individuals.
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 essentially applies the standards of Title VII to the federal government as an employer.
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act changes when the statute of limitations begins for workers’ claims of pay discrimination under Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) to declare that an unlawful employment practice occurs not only when a discriminatory pay decision or practice is adopted but also when the employee becomes subject to the decision or practice, as well as each additional application of that decision or practice. In other words, each time compensation is paid.
The Equal Pay Act (EPA) prohibits sex-based pay discrimination between men and women who perform under similar working conditions. The EPA applies to all employers covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) which is part of Title VII, prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) prohibits discrimination against pregnant women and parents as well as employees with serious health conditions. In 2008, two new types of FMLA leave were created which gives job-protected leave for family of members of the armed services.
Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits discrimination against employees age 40 and older. The ADEA covers private employers with 20 or more employees, state and local governments (including school districts), employment agencies, and labor organizations.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) prohibit discrimination against a qualified employees or job applicants with a disability because of the disability, association with someone with a disability, or because the employer sees an employee as disabled, even if he actually isn’t. The ADA and ADAAA applies to the same list of employers as Title VII.
The Nineteenth Century Civil Rights Act, amended in 1993, ensures all persons equal rights under the law and outline the damages available under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII, the ADA, and the 1973 Rehabilitation Act.
Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA) of 2008 prohibits employers, employment agencies, and labor unions from discriminating against employees based on genetic information. It also prohibits insurers from charging higher premiums based on genetic information or from using genetic information in underwriting decisions.
Discrimination complaints can be particularly costly to businesses and most are not always equipped with the legal resources to deal with such issues. There is nothing worse for an employee than to make a complaint that is